Thursday, March 01, 2012

The Farm And Food Roundup

JenOrganic farmers who brought a lawsuit against Monsanto have had their case dismissed by a federal judge who called their claim a "transparent effort to create a controversy where none exists."

The growth of small-scale and urban agriculture is bringing about changes in the curriculum of university extension programs. Students in urban agriculture classes can range from seasoned gardeners looking to expand, to people seeking a wholesale career change to farming.

The Chipotle commercial/film that aired during the Grammy Awards and featured Willie Nelson’s unmistakable voice got a good deal of media coverage, including this op-ed from the president of the Missouri Farm Bureau who criticized, “Commercial farmers will have to decide whether we can withstand public opprobrium while continuing to efficiently produce the world’s most essential good or join the entertainment industry, selling expensive pork chops with heaping sides of nostalgia.” Also you might guess, many folks had strong responses.

Congress may have bowed to Big Ag and bailed on bringing fairness to the livestock market when they dropped the proposed GIPSA rules, but Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has stepped up to introduce a bill to ban meatpackers from owning their own herds (which gives them the power to manipulate the price they have to pay to independent ranchers).

The Daily Yonder has a great piece that shows that the efforts to reign in the power of Wall Street are the very same things farmers called for during the late 1800s, which gave rise to the Populist movement.

Rolling Stone uncovers the billionaire behind the fracking boom that claims it will make farmers and ranchers rich.

Iowa is set to pass an “Ag Gag” bill that criminalizes trespassing on farms, aiming to stop the undercover films that are often made to expose animal cruelty on factory farms. Critics say the bill will ultimately derail the integrity and safety of the state’s food industry.

The USDA unveiled the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass, showing the investments the USDA has made in local and regional food system development and stories about farmers and farm and food entrepreneurs building those food systems.

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